Will ‘Rosewood’ Ratings Survive Move Off ‘Empire’ Night?

An average episode of the Morris Chestnut series on Fox jumped 39 percent from start to finish with Lee Daniels’ hip-hop soap on deck

Last Updated: September 22, 2016 @ 10:03 AM

“Rosewood” per-episode TV ratings were really a tale of four quarters last year, but will the show’s unique freshman experience carry over to its new night? Probably not — let us explain why.

Last season, on evenings with a new “Empire” episode immediately following, the 8 o’clock Morris Chestnut drama averaged a 1.3 rating for its first 15 minutes in the advertiser-beloved 18-49 demographic. The show’s second quarter-hour was steady, delivering another 1.3.

For the uninitiated, that’s not a particularly impressive rating, even for Fox. Fortunately for “Rosewood,” it’d get better from there, though probably through no effort of its own.

From 8:30-8:45, viewership ticked up to a 1.4. By the final 15 minutes, “Rosewood” was all the way up to a 1.8.

That means from start to finish, the same show soared 39 percent. Why? Well, simple: Viewers tuned in to Fox early in order to not miss a minute of the hit hip-hop soap opera at 9.

It’s important to note that all ratings in this story are Nielsen’s Live + Same Day numbers, so they wouldn’t reflect any non-“Empire”-related delayed viewing.

Need more proof of “Empire’s” impact on “Rosewood”? Sure — but only because you asked so nicely. On non-“Empire” Wednesdays, here’s how the “Rosewood” hour played out:

8:00 p.m.: 1.0
8:15 p.m.: 0.9
8:30 p.m.: 0.9
8:45 p.m.: 0.9

Not only was the whole show 40 percent lower rated — with a 0.9 average versus a 1.5 — but those episodes actually declined as the night wore on.

The story is a bit less dramatic among total viewers — which would include those under 18 and over 49 — but it tells the same tale.

Without the Lee Daniels‘ drama padding its stats, “Rosewood’s” 3.676 million overall audience was 27 percent smaller than its 5.057 million average with “Empire” behind it. Clearly, the “Empire” hand washed the “Rosewood” one.

On those far-larger evenings for Fox, from its first to the final 15 minutes, “Rosewood” rose 28 percent among total viewers. Let’s just say it didn’t do that the other nights.

For its sophomore season, “Rosewood’s” new lead-out is freshman series “Pitch,” which follows a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play in baseball’s Major Leagues. Fingers crossed the new show’s a hit, if for nothing else than another “Rosewood” renewal probably hinges on it.

“Empire’s” new lead-in is “Lethal Weapon,” a reboot of the 1987 film. Of course, the good news for Dana Walden and Gary Newman is that regardless of how “Lethal Weapon” does, “Empire” should be just fine, in each and every one of its 15-minute increments.

“Rosewood now airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on Fox. “Pitch” follows at 9.

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